Thursday, June 3, 2010

USDA: Ag Exports to End Fiscal Year at Near Record Levels

The nation's farmers, ranchers and producers are expected to report $104.5 billion in sales during fiscal 2010, according to the most recent forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture (

This would be an $8 billion increase in sales over the last fiscal year, and the second highest level in US history.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the US Agricultural Trade Outlook Forecast for fiscal year 2010 – which ends Sept. 30 – "is good news for communities across the country, not only because of the increasing opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers to sell their products overseas, but also because of the importance of agricultural exports to the American economy. With each $1 billion in exports supporting 8,000 to 9,000 jobs at home, efforts to increase trade are an important part of the Administration's effort to strengthen our economy here at home."

Vilsack also said that in an effort to meet the goals of President Obama's National Export Initiative to double exports in the next five years, "The USDA has been working aggressively to improve opportunities for US agricultural exports – including new offices abroad and a more constructive, effective dialogue on trade issues with growing market economies – helping to increase the trade surplus in agriculture, now forecast to reach $28 billion."

The outlook report also forecast that the agriculture trade surplus would reach $28 billion during fiscal 2010, the second highest ever achieved.

US agriculture exports to China, the top US ag trading partner, grew nearly $3 billion in the first half of the fiscal year to $10.6 billion, according to the report.